22 April 2008
22 April 2008
Ashland Distribution, a division of Ashland Inc, recently took delivery of 40 new International TranStar1 Series regional haul tractors with engine hoods made from Ashland’s own Arotran 720 low-density sheet moulding compound (SMC).
“Every year we purchase a number of heavy trucks to keep our fleet up-to-date,” said Kevin Dinan, fleet manager for Ashland. “These trucks meet our needs extremely well and feature parts that are made from Ashland products.” Each year Ashland replaces about 10 percent of the more than 400 tractors that comprise its fleet.
“We thought this was a great way to support a company that is using our products in their manufacturing process,” said Cedric Ball, global marketing manager for transportation, Ashland Composite Polymers. The truck hoods were produced using Arotran 720 resin by Core Molding Technologies Inc., of Columbus, Ohio. Core Molding produces fibreglass reinforced plastics (FRP) parts and sheet moulding compound (SMC). “Core is known in the industry for producing high quality fibreglass reinforced moulded products and SMC for a variety of markets,” said Ball.
“Our Arotran resins provide the International tractors with proven performance, tough Class A finish and lower weight per part,” said Ball. The Arotran 720 resin formula uses patented nanoclay technology to save approximately 21 pounds when compared to standard composite truck hoods. That relates to additional hauling capacity for the trucks. “Any weight the manufacturer takes off of the truck is a step toward overall weight reduction and better fuel efficiency. The payload capability may be incremental, but it all comes together to reduce the delivery cost,” said Dinan.
The use of composites within the rail industry is predicted to grow by up to 40% between 2015 and 2020 according to the Composites Leadership Forum, reports Fibrelite, a UK manufacturer of composite trench covers.
Plasan Carbon Composites (PCC) has been awarded a contract to produce the first composite ramps and bridgeplates for Amtrak.